Thursday, May 3, 2018

Nigerian film producer Femi Odugbemi calls for better co-operation and collaboration between Nigeria and Ghana's TV and film industries at MultiChoice's 5th Digital Dialogue Conference.

There should be bigger co-operation and collaboration between Ghana and Nigeria to not just grow the respective film and television industries in both West African countries, but to unlock bigger opportunities and to grow the economies and improve conditions and employment in the sector.

So said the Nigerian film producer Femi Odugbemi, CEO of Zuri24 Media Limited, who spoke on Wednesday at the ongoing 5th edition of the Digital Dialogue Conference taking place in Dubai in the United Arab Emirate (UAE) organised by MultiChoice.

MultiChoice didn't invite any South African journalists or media to the conference facilitated by the satellite pay-TV operator, and there was no advance media advisory or notification.

The Digital Dialogue Conference is centred around gaining a better understanding of the future direction of the video entertainment industry across Africa as a whole.

ALSO READ: MultiChoice entertainment boss Yolisa Phahle warns Africa's TV biz: With more choices than ever, we have to find new ways of engaging better with viewers, as shiny substitutes Netflix, Facebook and YouTube are ready to eat our lunch in an instant.

"Ghana and Nigeria should work together to grow their respective movie industries and that of the West African sub-region," said Femi Odugbemi.

"This collaboration will contribute greatly to the improvement of the two industries and our countries."

He told conference-goers that greater collaboration and co-operation between the TV and film sectors of each country - with inter-government assistance - will help to reduce unemployment, and he called for better collaboration between the two countries' movie industries to improve distribution, production and sharing of ideas  to better market their respective stories.

He said Nigeria's film biz - known as Nollywood - needs to continue to innovate and not lose focus during the seismic wave of global digital disruption that is also affecting Africa's creative sphere.

"Nollywood found its audience and its audience found it because its story telling connected to the cultural experiences of its audience," said Femi Odugbemi, and cautioned that Nigeria's film biz is set to continue its growth if it takes proper advantage of digital changes.

"Digital solutions will open up a number of possibilities across Nollywood's sub-sectors, including distribution, production, manpower and governance."

"If there has ever been an industry that created digital dialogue from the word go, it would be Nollywood," he said.

According to Femi Odugbemi filmmaking in Nigeria is gradually becoming more sophisticated because of the growing options of digital film making like virtual scene creation. Nollywood now has an average of 50 crew per film set, with 2 000 film projects in Nigeria per year and estimated 2 million people being employed within Nigeria film and TV industry.